In a rapidly changing competitive environment, skillful technology usage is becoming one of the methods to achieve superiority over other market players. Even now the world economy is on the verge of a new large-scale technological revolution that can change the way we work, live and do business.
It’s all about the Internet of things industry – a system of interconnected computing devices and sensors that interact with other devices via the Internet. They are able to transfer data to each other, execute embedded programs and modify themselves independently, depending on the data received.
Although IoT technologies have enough potential to become the engine of progress on a global scale, we are still only at the beginning of a long way. Soon, every single device around us will have an option of connection to the World Wide Web.
Today in the world, most industries are in one way or another ready for the Internet of things. But let’s have a look at those examples of using IoT technologies in different niches of business that have already become reality or will be implemented in the near future.
Due to the large amount of data received from different sensors, insurance companies will be able to anticipate possible damage, rather than simply reimburse it (as is done now). It will be possible to offer personalized products depending on the client’s lifestyle.
Also, receiving information directly and immediately from the source, insurance companies will be able to send their representatives to where people need help as soon as possible. Similarly, you can immediately get information about the damaged part when it comes to devices.
The wide usage of devices able to conduct transactions through mobile payments leads to a noticeable increase in the number of payments and purchases. Moreover, it becomes possible to create systems capable of conducting independent financial transactions with minimal human involvement.
For instance, smart home appliances with an interface for mobile payments. You can order and pay for the products directly through the touch panel built into the refrigerator. Or it can be a washing machine that will independently order washing powder with delivery on Amazon when it senses that its stocks are coming to an end.
In turn, the retailer will be able to provide personalized discounts and loyalty programs based on the customer’s purchase history.
IoT can be used not only to optimize business processes, but also as an HR management improvement tool. Physical activity sensors might serve to stimulate and promote a healthy lifestyle among employees. Also, IoT can be used to monitor productivity and more efficient task allocation.
Companies can get a real-time picture of where their people are and where they are more needed, that is, this can help to make HR management more flexible.
Agriculture (supply chains)
Some farmers have already integrated sensors into the machinery used, which simplifies the task of collecting crop data and even allows them to exchange it with colleagues. Also, such information-analysis enables understanding how to optimize the work in order to increase the yield.
The integration of special barcodes and their subsequent reading during the products’ shipment and transportation make it possible to track the products’ movements more accurately. It is even possible to find out from which site the batch was received. All this positively affects the quality of products and reduces the loss of perishable products.
The greatest thing about the use of IoT is that it makes such control possible in real time. Constant process-monitoring by special sensors allows reducing downtime, which positively affects productivity.
Equipment-modernization by integrating intelligent sensors provides particularly good returns in the long term. This makes it possible to make more coordinated and faster operating decisions, which affects the overall efficiency of the enterprise.
Stock Balance Inventory
The Internet of things can be a real revolution in how companies monitor and manage their inventory stock. Devices that track stocks of goods at a certain position are already actively used in practice.
Soon it will become possible to comprehensively monitor changes in balances at a higher level, which will free up time for employees to solve more complex and interesting tasks.
For companies operating in the tourism industry, providing a high level of service at the lowest possible cost is a vital task. Many companies in this area are actively using IoT elements already, and are actively experimenting with their wider application.
Airlines use sensors to track real-time flight data, optimize fuel consumption and predict the need for maintenance. The hotels control heating, air conditioning, utilities and security systems.
With the help of data from a variety of wearable devices, medical facilities can significantly improve patient care, thus achieving a new level of efficiency in terms of patient-information monitoring-accuracy, making their lives safer.
The devices connected to the Internet can send the notifications on malfunctions and repair-necessity to the responsible employees. This is very important for medicine, since equipment breakdown can be a matter of life and death for the patient.
Transport and Car Industry
The appearance of “connected”-to-the-Internet cars on the roads – that’s where the next revolution can take place, and that will affect everybody’s life. The analysis of the situation on the roads and the effective exchange of data between cars will help to avoid traffic jams and reduce the time of commuting.
Imagine a world in which the city’s infrastructure is integrated with sensors on the roads, the data from which can be used to analyze the city traffic situation and adjust traffic lights, which minimizes traffic jams or eradicates them entirely.
This is important for the transport system as a whole, because cars are used not only for personal trips, but also for the transport of a wide variety of goods. Today, cars use a variety of technological solutions more than ever before.
Imagine a smart electricity meter that monitors consumer consumption and receives feedback from the central system of the company that provides utilities. This two-way communication will avoid breakdowns during peak demand and can signal engineers about a malfunction.
Intelligent meters are just one of many examples of effective IoT applications in the energy industry, and can change the traditional methods of doing business by energy companies.
The largest branch on which the Internet of Things has a significant influence is manufacturing. Companies in all sectors are ready to invest in making their plants more efficient and productive, as this is their chance to get ahead of competitors.
Sensor-equipped equipment transmits data to operators, and in turn they can make decisions about timely repairs and understand how to make the overall system as efficient as possible.
The devices’ interconnection allows control of energy distribution and reduction of costs in the manufacturing business by reducing fuel consumption, as well as by identifying economically unviable assets.
More Data (and faster)
Smart devices that convey statistics about consumer behavior, equipment usage and other similar information will provide analysts more information than ever before. Companies that learn to use all of this to their benefit will be able to break away from their competitors and earn much more.
The business will have access to an incredible data flow, the analysis of which will help to provide the best service and bring innovative services and products to the market. There is no need to pay for long and expensive studies to gather the relevant information about consumers.
One will have to get used to the new way of working and, maybe, review many other processes. But this is an investment in the future, so everything is for the best.
Features You Can Use Right Now
Many companies are using the Internet of Things and related technologies right now, as they realize its importance for future business success. The main thing is always to remember that one should not start with technology, but with problem-solving and finding new opportunities for business.
Think globally, but start small. It is better to start with a tactical project with small risks and obvious profit, and then move on to more ambitious projects once you have gained experience and understanding.
IoT has an incredible potential to transform many industries. Enterprises that start using these technologies in their work will be able to significantly improve the efficiency of their workflow and be more profitable.